Flavorful and filling Healthy Southwestern Pasta Salad with bright veggies and a creamy spiced tahini sauce! Vegan, gluten free, and done in under 30 minutes. This post is sponsored by Barilla.
Oh just popping in to make your week seventeen times more delectable with today's splendid Southwestern Pasta Salad recipe! I can't stop with this Thai pasta salad so it's high time for another.
For all those times when you're invited to a shindig and you want something quick and easy and yum and perhaps with a veg or three but have no idea what that is exactly. I SEE YOU.
Are you a pasta salad person? I love when things are called salads that have no lettuce. Tuna salad. Seaweed salad. Egg salad. Pasta salad!
I'm head over heels for the dreamy spiced tahini dressing and all the fun colorful veggies here. Flavor town!
What pasta to use
Raise your hand if you've laid mouth on Barilla's Chickpea Rotini. It's hands down the best chickpea pasta in all the land. And I've tried quite a few!
Let's be honest...the peeps at Barilla know their stuff. They've been crafting gorgeous pasta of all shapes and sizes for hundreds of years, ever since 1877 when Pietro Barilla opened a bread and pasta shop in Parma, Italy.
Barilla brings you the absolute highest quality pasta with the best possible ingredients. I love that the only ingredient in this here chickpea pasta is...chickpeas! You can most definitely taste the commitment to uncompromising quality that Barilla is known for.
Did you know they even have researchers that ensure every pasta shape cooks up perfectly al dente? You won't find any GMO ingredients, either. I loved learning how all Barilla employees continuously strive to improve the pasta quality. You can taste the pasta passion!
Bursting with flavor from good-for-you ingredients
Thanks to the chickpea rotini, this colorful pasta salad is positively packed with plant powered protein and filling fiber. It's a meal that will satiate you for hours, my friends. I know from experience!
This beauty is vegan and gluten free too, so everyone can dig in. We've got loads of nutrients from fresh tomatoes, herbaceous cilantro, green onions, vitamin C rich bell pepper, and sweet corn.
How perfect is this for summer potlucks and such? Hubba hubba!
I especially love digging into a bowl of this goodness for lunch since it's one of those easy meal in a bowl situations. Plus it's on the table in under thirty minutes. Dinner win!
The zesty tahini lime sauce comes together in a jiffy. We're simply mixing together tahini (sesame seed paste) with fresh lime juice, water, southwestern spices, and salt and pepper.
Easy as pie. I mean pasta.
Fun add-in ideas
Make this your own, my party people. While pasta is surely the star, we've always got options so you can do you.
- Avocado: Extra creaminess and green power, ya dig?
- Cheese: If you're not vegan, feta, cojita, or cheddar cheese would add excellent tang here.
- Red cabbage: For gorgeous color and crunch factor.
- Pepitas: Yummy crunch on top!
- Jalapeños: Kick up the spice factor a notch with some diced or thinly sliced jalapeños.
- Olives: Black olives for yummy brininess would be nice.
- Greens: Want even more vitamins? Add a handful of chopped spinach or arugula.
This southwestern pasta salad gets even more flavorful as it sits. It's best served chilled after it has rested in the fridge for a couple hours.
I like to add an extra pinch of cilantro and green onions just before serving.
Let me know how much you love this one by leaving a comment and star rating, puh-lease!Print
Flavorful and filling Healthy Southwestern Pasta Salad with bright veggies and a creamy spiced tahini sauce! Vegan, gluten free, and done in under 30 minutes.
For the pasta salad:
- 1 8.8 oz box Barilla Chickpea Rotini
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about ¾ cup)
- 1 bunch green onions (green parts only), sliced (can sub ½ small red onion)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup corn (I used defrosted from frozen)
Zesty tahini sauce:
- ⅓ cup tahini
- 1 medium to large lime, juiced (3 tbsp lime juice)
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp water
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¾ tsp fine sea salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions, or until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator while you prep.
- Meanwhile, make the zesty tahini sauce by whisking together tahini, lime juice, water, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. It should be a pourable consistency and not too thick. Add more water a tablespoon at a time if needed.
- Set aside a couple pinches of cilantro and onions for topping. Add remaining cilantro, onions, tomatoes, pepper, and corn to the bowl with the pasta. Top with tahini sauce and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt (I used 1 tsp) and pepper.
Add-ins: Cojita or feta cheese, black olives, and jalapeños would all be great additions!
Keywords: southwestern pasta salad, vegan pasta salad, healthy pasta salad